Printmaking is an artistic process based on the principle of transferring images from a matrix onto another surface, most often paper or fabric. Traditional printmaking techniques include woodcut, etching, engraving, and lithography, while modern artists have expanded available techniques to include screenprinting.
A matrix is essentially a template, and can be made of wood, metal, or glass. The design is created on the matrix by working its flat surface with either tools or chemicals. The matrix is then inked in order to transfer it onto the desired surface. To print from a matrix requires the application of controlled pressure, most often achieved by using a printing press, which creates an even impression of the design when it is printed onto the paper or fabric. (More modern printmaking techniques, such as screenprinting, do not require a press.) The resulting print is often the mirror image of the original design on the matrix. One of the great benefits of printmaking (save for monotype) is that multiple impressions of the same design can be printed from a single matrix. – The Met